Writers, artists, teachers, kids, parents, cooks, musicians, EVERYBODY … this column is for you. We are all creative, whether you think you are or not!
Two exciting words, right? Well, hold on just a minute. I know I’m often stymied when I see those words. So many fears come to the surface. The list continually grows with reasons why I don’t just hop to it and start writing or drawing or painting:
Fear of rejection
Fear of failure
Judgement from others
And then there are those realities of our modern lives …
Never enough time
Work, school and other commitments
Distractions from focus-suckers like TV and social media
Welcome to my world. This column is here to 1) inspire you to take a few moments to create, 2) remind you of ways that creativity can help you live your life in balance and 3) let you know that there are many who commiserate with you!
As an artist, writer and teacher, creative ideas spin around in my head … a lot. Sometimes (let’s be honest — oftentimes!), it’s hard to grab hold of one and bring it to fruition. I’ve found that simple — and some not-so-simple — exercises can help bring ideas to the forefront, and the teacher in me loves to share these strategies.
Let’s get started! Let’s create!
This month’s strategy to get those creative juices flowing:
Timeline of Smells
Sitting quietly, I’m thinking back to smells from different times of my life, starting as far back as I can remember:
The baby powder fragrance on my crib’s vinyl mattress cover.
Fresh cut grass in the summertime (and the soft tickle on my tender young feet as I scamper across the lawn).
Musty, earthy smell of lake water as the breeze drifts across the lake’s surface.
Mom’s hydrangea-pink nail polish and its accompanying toxic polish remover.
I could go on and on and dig deeper and deeper. Now I can choose any one of these memories and craft a short story by adding emotion, description and dialogue; or pen a poem; or create a memory sketch or a painting. The possibilities are endless. These are my memories, so there’s no right or wrong way of doing it … and no need for perfection. (Seriously, throw perfection out the window.)
The sense of smell is one of those deeply rooted memory enhancers. Sitting quietly and developing this list is very meditative. I carved out 10-15 minutes, and I consider that to be 10-15 minutes of meditation, which we can all use a little of these days.
What gets in your way of creating? Share your ideas, questions or comments by contacting me at Barbara@WildesArt.com. Is there a creative event happening? Let me know — I’d love to hear from you!
Not-to-Miss Creative Event: Bluegrass Experience 2017: Sun. Nov. 19, 2017, 3-6 pm, at the Fearrington Barn, Pittsboro. Tickets available at: /m.bpt.me/event/3113745 or at McIntyre’s Books, Fearrington. Presented by Chatham Arts Council www.chathamartscouncil.org.
Barbara Hengstenberg is an educator, artist, writer and founder of WildesArt.com, an online community of creatives. Barbara lives in Pittsboro, and sells her Zen folkart and offers tips on creativity through her website. You can reach her at Barbara@WildesArt.com